Forum: Trooper’s death stresses need to repeal cannabis law

The trooper’s death, caused by an impaired driver, should prompt lawmakers to reconsider its legalization.

By Bill Young / Herald Forum

On March 2, an American hero was taken from his wife and 2-year-old child. Washington State Trooper Chris Gadd was killed by a Lynnwood resident who admitted to drinking and smoking marijuana prior to mowing down the defenseless trooper along I-5 near Marysville about 3 a.m.

A child will be fatherless as a result the driver’s reported decision to drink acohol and use marijuana, which resulted in the death of a beloved law enforcement officer.

While you could arguably state that alcohol contributed to this horrific tragedy, I would assert that legalized pot was the deciding factor. We know that the marijuana that is being produced today is more potent than the pot grown in the 1970s and ’80s. This is not your daddy’s grass anymore; levels of THC are so potent that this shouldn’t even be considered the same drug from yesteryear.

Marijuana is not innocuous, and causes myriad physical and psychological maladies. Consequently, it is incredulous that lawmakers would have ever legalized marijuana for recreational use. Moreover, fatal traffic accidents demonstrate that up to 22 percent of these tragedies are caused by drivers under the influence of cannabis.

Health care professionals have found a litany of serious health problems associated with the regular use of cannabis, including heart problems, lung issues and fertility problems. In fact, it has been reported that the daily use of cannabis raises the risk of heart attacks by 25 percent and strokes by 42 percent.

The pot of a bygone era has given way to marijuana that can cause mental health issues, psychosis and violent behavior. If an individual has a predisposition toward mental health issues, smoking marijuana regularly will only exacerbate and enhance their mental illness.

Scientific research has definitely proven that prolonged use of pot can lead to paranoia, aggressive or violent behavior and delusions. It has also been widely known that cannabis damages the lungs and may adversely affect a man’s sperm count.

The most detrimental aspect of the legalization of marijuana is to our youth and young adults. As someone who had empirically observed the adverse effects of pot on our youth, it is absolutely insane that our state has legalized this insidious drug. After working in our schools and making literally hundreds of drug confiscations, I can attest that marijuana is extraordinarily harmful to our children.

It has the potential to destroy families, cause crime and absolutely decimate an individual’s motivation. Grades suffer, friendships die and the barriers that it places between children and parents can be incalculable. Drug users are far more likely to be suspended from school, go to jail and fail classes.

The term “recreational use” is oxymoronic and is absolutely counterintuitive to logic and common sense. If the legislators had worked with our children in the aftermath of a drug confiscation or uncovering a drug dealer as I have, they would know that drugs are an absolute scourge on our society.

We owe it to Trooper Gadd’s surviving family and all of our children that we must never normalize drug use. Let’s honor the memory and legacy of this heroic law enforcement officer by collectively teaching our children that any type of drug that alters your conscious state of mind is extremely dangerous.

Bill Young spent 20 years as a public school safety officer in Seattle. He lives in Lake Stevens.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Saturday, June 22

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

FILE - Lion Air's Boeing 737 Max 8 sits on the tarmac at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia, April 13, 2019. Indonesia said Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, it is lifting its ban on Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft, three years after one crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board. (AP Photo Nicole Evatt, File)
Editorial: Boeing quality proving difficult to recapture

The company seeks to assure its rededication to quality, but recent news is getting in the way.

Comment: Mobile home residents need help to stave off eviction

Site rental fees are increasing beyond what tenants, often seniors, can afford. Immediate aid is necessary.

Comment: Public-centered process needed for political borders

Partisan influence affected the state’s legislative redistricting process, forcing late and disruptive changes.

Comment: City’s, county’s self-insurance disadvantages workers

Self-insurance allows claims to be too easily denied. Recent legislation restores some fairness.

Forum: Summit on policing will start ongoing conversation on reforms

The June 29 event in Everett offers panel discussions and interviews with law enforcement and others.

Editorial cartoons for Friday, June 21

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Schwab: Ruling removes all doubt for expanded Supreme Court

The bump stock ruling, effectively legalizing machine guns, makes it necessary to dilute the majority.

Herald journalists should be paid a living wage

As a subscriber who depends on The Herald to inform me about… Continue reading

Call members of Congress and urge support of vaccine funding

With the covid vaccine, a new malaria vaccine, and a tuberculosis vaccine… Continue reading

Biden isn’t who should drop out of race

I had wanted to respond to Bret Stephens’s New York Times opinion… Continue reading

Paul: Some folks doth protest to no effective end

Some of us are not interested in performative protests that generate more heat than outcomes.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.